I don’t know how people can wake up 30 minutes before work starts and still get there on time. My summer mornings involve coffee, a shower, makeup, emptying and filling the dishwasher, watering the garden, walking the dog, and cleaning up whatever mess is on the counter so I’m not thinking about it at work all day. And this is just me — I really don’t know how people with children do it.
Lately, though, something has been making my life a little easier: chia pudding. I first discovered this recipe when I was Paleo, because chia seeds soaked in coconut milk form this tapioca-like substance that is about as close as you can get to yogurt on a strict Paleo diet. However, when you’re going through three or four $3 cans of coconut milk every week just for breakfast, the cost soon becomes prohibitive.
Luckily, I’m not Paleo anymore. And since I can get chia seeds in bulk and soy milk at a fraction of the price of canned coconut milk, this has become my go-to weekday morning breakfast. All I do is throw the ingredients in a mason jar the night before, shake it all up, and stick it in the fridge. In the morning, I find the time to throw some berries or other fruit on it, and there you have it.
Is it a little weird at first? Yes. Chia seeds absorb about 90 percent of their weight in water, forming a really wild gel around each individual seed and thickening the remaining liquid. This gel is why chia seeds make such an effective vegan egg substitute, but it can feel strange the first few times you eat it. But I promise, after three times, you’ll love it as much as I do.
Honey Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding
1 cup vanilla-flavored non-dairy milk (soy or almond work equally well here)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp honey (I use local honey, for the health benefits)
1/4 cup black chia seeds
1/2 cup fruit of your choice
Throw the first three ingredients in a mason jar, and shake to blend. Add chia seeds and shake again, making sure the chia seeds don’t get stuck to the honey in the bottom. Put the lid on and refrigerate overnight.
In the morning, open the jar, throw the fruit on top, re-cap and go!